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Green Tribunal rejects NRL plea

By AJIT PATOWARY
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GUWAHATI, March 26 � The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today rejected the plea of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to lift the conditions slapped on the Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) on diverting the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) stretch of the NH-37 to North Bank of the Brahmaputra.

The Principal Bench of the NGT said in its order today in connection with the case MA No 687 of 2013, MA No 1070 of 2013 and MA No 142 of 2014 (in the Original Application No 174 of 2013 Rohit Choudhury Vs Union of India & Others) ���we make it clear that the condition No 3 of the Environmental Clearance will not be altered by Ministry of Environment and Forests without leave of the Tribunal.� The case has been listed on March 31.

It needs mention here that the MoEF had earlier placed before the NGT a submission stating that the NRL has requested it to waive the condition of diverting the NH-37 which was slapped on the Refinery while according environment clearance to it at the time of its establishment in 1991.

The MoEF said in its affidavit before the NGT on March 20, 2014 that the matter was placed before the Expert Appraisal Committee (Industry) at its 15th meeting held on January 29 and 30, 2014.

The MoEF would communicate its decision to the Numaligarh Refinery Ltd regarding the amendment of the said environment clearance base on the recommendation of the Committee and approval of competent authority, said the MoEF in its affidavit before the NGT.

Meanwhile, the Assam Government today made a plea before the NGT to modify its March 20 order to restrain traffic movement on the NH-37 in six sections of animal corridors of the 77- km stretch of the NH-37 along the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) during the peak animal movement hours of 5 am to 7 am and 4 pm to 7 pm on daily basis.

It stated that the Transport Department has already initiated the process for procurement of eight speedometers and speed guns for Kaziranga portion of the NH-37. Traffic interceptors have already been ordered and will be placed in strategic locations for detecting offending vehicles and erring drivers.

Transport Department has also taken steps to purchase breath analysers which will be installed in the Kaziranga stretch of the NH-37. It has initiated the process also to procure 45 speed radar guns in two phases, 23 in each phase, for monitoring the speed of vehicles.

Restriction on overloading of goods trucks will be monitored closely in coordination with the traffic police, said the State Government in its affidavit.

It has also offered to make a provision for arranging for movement of the vehicles in convoys, led by escort vehicles, as is routinely done, during the monsoon season.

Moreover, at the same time, KNP would deploy Animal Corridor Wardens at the designated locations frequented by the animals, the State Government said in its affidavit.

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Green Tribunal rejects NRL plea

GUWAHATI, March 26 � The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today rejected the plea of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to lift the conditions slapped on the Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) on diverting the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) stretch of the NH-37 to North Bank of the Brahmaputra.

The Principal Bench of the NGT said in its order today in connection with the case MA No 687 of 2013, MA No 1070 of 2013 and MA No 142 of 2014 (in the Original Application No 174 of 2013 Rohit Choudhury Vs Union of India & Others) ���we make it clear that the condition No 3 of the Environmental Clearance will not be altered by Ministry of Environment and Forests without leave of the Tribunal.� The case has been listed on March 31.

It needs mention here that the MoEF had earlier placed before the NGT a submission stating that the NRL has requested it to waive the condition of diverting the NH-37 which was slapped on the Refinery while according environment clearance to it at the time of its establishment in 1991.

The MoEF said in its affidavit before the NGT on March 20, 2014 that the matter was placed before the Expert Appraisal Committee (Industry) at its 15th meeting held on January 29 and 30, 2014.

The MoEF would communicate its decision to the Numaligarh Refinery Ltd regarding the amendment of the said environment clearance base on the recommendation of the Committee and approval of competent authority, said the MoEF in its affidavit before the NGT.

Meanwhile, the Assam Government today made a plea before the NGT to modify its March 20 order to restrain traffic movement on the NH-37 in six sections of animal corridors of the 77- km stretch of the NH-37 along the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) during the peak animal movement hours of 5 am to 7 am and 4 pm to 7 pm on daily basis.

It stated that the Transport Department has already initiated the process for procurement of eight speedometers and speed guns for Kaziranga portion of the NH-37. Traffic interceptors have already been ordered and will be placed in strategic locations for detecting offending vehicles and erring drivers.

Transport Department has also taken steps to purchase breath analysers which will be installed in the Kaziranga stretch of the NH-37. It has initiated the process also to procure 45 speed radar guns in two phases, 23 in each phase, for monitoring the speed of vehicles.

Restriction on overloading of goods trucks will be monitored closely in coordination with the traffic police, said the State Government in its affidavit.

It has also offered to make a provision for arranging for movement of the vehicles in convoys, led by escort vehicles, as is routinely done, during the monsoon season.

Moreover, at the same time, KNP would deploy Animal Corridor Wardens at the designated locations frequented by the animals, the State Government said in its affidavit.

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